Keyboard Geniuses

Synchronicity

Synchronicity

Highlights from the week’s comment threads.

By Matt Kodner • March 8, 2013

Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.

Sync Blot

For Sawbuck Gamer, Derrick Sanskrit reviewed Google’s newest game Super Sync Sports, a browser game that uses smart phones as controllers. Huuzzwhaat?! Like me, Lokimotive is similarly baffled by modern advances in technology, and the result is a Louis C.K.-esque “look at the big picture” moment:

So, the other day, I was working with a client on a project: we had a Google doc open on a Mac hooked up to a screen projector and the client was editing it on her Mac. The changes were, of course, reflected in real time through the screen projector, and she naturally began to look up at the big screen as she typed rather than her laptop screen.

I had to stop at one point and say, “Can we all just stop here for a second and appreciate the fact that you are editing a document on your computer, and it is being reflected THROUGH THE AIR, onto this computer? In real time?!” These types of things are rather flabbergasting when you think about it.

Tomb O’ Doom
Tomb Raider

John Teti enjoyed the strong sense of Lara Croft’s character in the new Tomb Raider but bristled when the game essentially solved its own puzzles on the player’s behalf. Effigy Power saw a connection to the evolution of toys, and a shift away from imagination toward theatrics, in the past 60-odd years:

I am getting the feeling that more advanced and popular games basically play themselves. It’s a bit in line with the development of toys when I was a kid. Initially, everything was manual and required you to come up with shit. Plastic horsies and Barbie dolls and all that crap were at least, for all their other failures, still dependent on your own interaction. Then everything got animated and self-controlled and full of LEDs, and you could basically sit there and watch your little pony doll run around and shit rainbows.

Games appear to go the same route. The more elaborate and complex the set pieces become, the more the developers seem to be afraid that we are too dumb or inattentive to get what’s going on. Screen-filling scripted events go on and the devs seem to want to guide our camera and hand and yell at us, “Look at the cool shit we built here, look at it! That’s what you paid $60 for. This exploding B2 bomber full of fireworks and bunnies. And now look over there, so you have a second to prepare for the quick-time event. Oh, and if you fail this, which you will, you can look at this cool, unskippable cutscene again. Well, you have to.”

In response, Logoboros compared how games used to be played in the arcade to their current (apparent) struggle to hold players’ attention:

I think part of this is an issue with the “game as experience” mindset. Think about early arcade games. The basic relationship was of the gamer AGAINST the game. The game was a challenge. The game was your opponent. The goal was to “beat” the game (or beat the high scores of other games—to master the game better than them). The amount of hand-holding in current games represents a completely different kind of relationship. You are essentially subjugated to the game (though willingly—and the game is constantly trying to flatter your and court you).

Present day gamers always seem to be on the verge of boredom with the games they’re playing (at least if the design of those games is any indication), and they only thing that will keep them playing is the promise of scenes or events to trigger or stuff to unlock. (I see I’m starting to conflate two different game mechanics there—though I think both play into the gamer-as-lab-rat idea—so I’ll cut myself off before I wander too far.)

All’s Fair In Glaive And War
Star Glaive

A little ol’ somebody by the name of Matt Kodner (this guy!) enjoyed the inventive shoot-’em-up Star Glaive for Sawbuck Gamer. Responding to a comment on the game’s doodle-like artwork, Lokimotive fondly remembered a more innocent time:

Your little anecdote about being inspired to doodle after looking at Nintendo Power reminded me of that constant sense of wonder I had when reading video game news despite never actually owning a console until I was, like, 18. There was never any game that could match how awesome I envisioned them being by reading game magazines.

Agreeing, Fyodor Douchetoevsky suggested a handheld game that tugs at those very heartstrings:

I looooved reading game magazines as a kid. They made the games sound way more fun than they were though.There’s this game for DS called Retro Game Challenge that sort of simulates this. This game wizard dude sends you back in time to play video games in the ’80s with his childhood self and you have to beat little challenges he assigns for you in these faux-retro games. The best part is the fake retro game mags that the kid is subscribed to and you can read. It is seriously awesome. There’s a Galaga-type game and even a full Dragon Quest-like roleplaying game. It’s great. Check it out if you can.

I was the exact same way, without an Nintendo 64 until the year before the Gamecube hit. But hey! Speaking of me, we’re launching a little advice column called “Ask A Gameological Intern” where I swiftly dole out answers to your questions as they relate to games, life, and even love. You can submit a question on our fancy tumblr, or tweet us your query @Gameological. Or ask in the comments below. I’ll answer literally anything.

MOMA Mia!
Moma

Drew Toal visited the Museum Of Modern Art for an early look at the museum’s new exhibit, “The Art Of Video Games.” While many flocked to Portal, Toal checked out Dwarf Fortress, a labyrinthine city-building simulator that has confounded many. World Civilizations was not one of the many and even ran out of things to do after playing for so long:

I was very into Dwarf Fortress for a while. It definitely takes determination to get started. And you definitely need to follow a walkthrough to a T the first time through.

I eventually stopped for the same reason I stop playing all pure-sandbox games—

I had no goals. I got huge economies going, pumping out artifact-level weapons and exquisite diamond jewelry, made big feast-halls with 10-story columns engraved all the way up, and developed powerful militias rotating in and out of service. For defense, I usually had dwarves enter and exit through a drawbridge, and when goblins attacked, I had everyone retreat inside, brought up the drawbridge, and forced enemies through absurd gauntlets of automated flooding systems, collapsing floors, and continuously firing floor spikes. At that point, I wasn’t sure what else to do.

The other big problem is that once you got these systems running, the amount of micromanagement required at all times was obscene. Building little apartments with furniture for immigrants, planting crops and expanding fields, commissioning new goods, executing dwarves who get depressed, resetting traps—it gets pretty tiresome. I know there’s a million other ways I could approach the game or challenge myself, but yeah, the micromanagement got to me. But still, I highly recommend the game.

Girard likened Dwarf Fortress to James Joyce’s language-bending Finnegans Wake, a work of prose so complex it defies categorization. Billy Nerdass however, has seen the brilliance of it, and explained why:

I do think you actually need to read Finnegans Wake to realize JUST HOW INSANE IT IS. For anybody who reads it, there’s maybe the biggest “holy shit” moment in literature. Eventually, he’ll touch on something you personally know a lot about and all of a sudden what before seemed like nonsense falls away, you start getting all the references and all the puns, seeing just how dense it is, how every word means two or three or four things at once, how it’s moving in three layers at once in all different directions, and it’ll make you feel like a fucking genius and you realize HOLY SHIT IT’S ALL LIKE THIS, I just didn’t get it. And then he moves on to something you don’t know anything about and it’s gone.

I also kind of feel like learning to play Dwarf Fortress is my life’s work. I’ve been fascinated by it for years but could never crack it. I had no idea that the book Drew mentioned [Getting Started With Dwarf Fortress] existed. Looks like exactly what I need. God bless you, Drew Toal.

If you can break Finnegans Wake, you should by all means be capable of handling Dwarf Fortress. Godspeed you, Mr. Nerdass!

Pixels In The Outfield
MLB 13: The Show

Ryan Smith found a lot to enjoy in MLB 13: The Show, but he also found that, for better or worse, the game’s simulation of all baseball’s tedious moments—the warmups and such—were extremely accurate. Jackbert pointed out that there are a couple of ways to streamline MLB 13 into different sorts of games for different kinds of fans:

Something problematically unmentioned in this review: Road To The Show, in which you create a player and play as him throughout his career. Because you can choose to just play his at-bats, it eliminates the tedium of a three-hour game. You can finish an entire season in six hours or so. You can also sim games, making the season even faster.

Another thing: Franchise mode, where you can also sim games, letting you skip your fifth starter’s turn against the Astros, and instead play your ace’s start against the Yankees. This obviously makes the season both faster and more exciting. Or you could sim through an entire season, playing general manager, making trades and managing concessions.

Muzzle The Puzzle
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation

This week’s Q&A asked about of our least favorite puzzles and game design tropes. There were a lot. Apparently, you all dislike shoddily executed puzzles as much as we do, because there were a bevy of great answers in the comments. Missions where you have to sneak around and be all stealthy-like proved particularly unpopular, and George Liquor had a theory on why they don’t work:

Oh man, mandatory stealth missions! I hate ’em, especially in games that otherwise don’t rely heavily on stealth and thus don’t have good stealth mechanics. Sneaking into Hyrule castle in Ocarina Of Time is a pretty good example, but the worst offender I can think of is Return To Castle Wolfenstein. In 99 percent of that game, you’re a badass, noisy Nazi stomper, and there are no consequences for alerting the entire Third Reich to your presence. But in one singularly crappy mission, you have to put everything you’ve learned about the game aside to sneak through a Nazi-infested forest in broad daylight without alerting anyone or the game just ends. It’s cheap, it’s frustrating and it’s completely at odds with the tone of the game to that point.

Ted Kindig had strong feelings about a rudimentary puzzle in the original Pokemon games:

I played Pokémon Blue a lot as a kid. I recently revisited it, and hands down the most idiotic puzzle in gaming history is the random pair of switches at the Lt. Surge gym. The first switch is in one of 15 random trash cans; the second one is one of the adjacent trash cans. You need to get both of them—otherwise they reset to another random location. Not the slightest bit of skill or thought required. I remember thinking of it as a really hard part as a kid, but I haven’t the slightest bit of patience for that shit as an adult.

Duwease stuck up for developers of puzzles both good and bad, explaining the troubles they face designing a product for the masses:

These sorts of articles make me feel for game designers. Not because it’s criticism, but because it’s legitimate criticism, and it speaks to the difficulty inherent in creating something in this particular medium.

“Good gameplay” is like “common sense”—it seems obvious to each individual what it should be, yet no two people fully agree on what it encompasses. Each individual has their own limits as to what difficulty and what actions hit the sweet spot where it is interesting enough to be engaging, but not too taxing to strain the emotion of someone trying to do something enjoyable.

It’s extra hard for big-budget games, as financially you need that wide audience. That means you need a central conceit that is complex enough to maintain attention over a couple dozen hours, but not too complex that it loses people. Many designers, faced with a simplified central system to keep new and casual audiences, try to flesh out and vary the game with these quick or optional side games. Which, as we see, are subject to the same issues.

And on a lighter note, Citric learned a thing or two from MacGyver-y puzzles:

On the flip-side, I suddenly have an appreciation for those “Combine one thing with another seemingly unrelated thing to accomplish a task in a somewhat silly manner” puzzles, as I needed to clear snow off my kitchen roof but needed something that could fit through the window. It was that experience which lead to me putting a shoe on a tripod to move snow, and it might have even worked a bit!

Clever Citric! Well, that’s it folks. As always, thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll see you next week.

Share this with your friends and enemies

Write a scintillating comment

74 Responses to “Synchronicity”

  1. Quick Gamebros,

    I got a 3DS from a buddy and it’s the first Nintendo system I’ve owned since the SNES.  Quick, what classic SNES-like games should I get??  I prefer downloadables over carts, and 2D over 3D.  Are there Zeldas and Metroids that’ll run on the 3DS, and preferably don’t involved walking into a store get?

    Halp!

    edit: (this is unrelated to Comment Cat, but I came way too late to the WAYPTW thread party to be near the top, so, here I am.)

    • Pandas_please says:

       Mutant Mudds is a very NES/SNES style platformer that has some Mega Man-y and Metroid based inspiration, it’s relatively cheap, has some pleasant music, and a retro feel. Oh, and it’s a download title. VVVVV (I think that’s the correct amount of Vs, I don’t know) is another platformer with some puzzle elements that’s really fast paced and has an old school feel. Of course there’s Links Awakening as well, and I think the Ocarina of Time remake is downloadable.

      Those are the one’s I can think of, but the E-shop is so horribly organized there might be plenty more that I’ve never even heard of.

      • Six Vs, not five. I only remember this because the teaser site before the game launched was http://www.thelettervsixtim.es

        Don’t forget, the 3DS still plays DS carts, and that thing was like the second coming of SNES-like game design. You may have to enter a store or wait for shipping, but a lot of gems are cheap now that we’re a generation past.

      • Dangit @Pandas_please:disqus , I have VVVVVV and Cave Story on Steam!  

        Taking a look at Wikipedia it appears there’s a wealth of handheld Zelda games in the spirit of Link to the Past, many of which can be gotten ahold of the Virtual Console.  Can’t wait to dive in!

    • Chalkdust says:

      I recommend “Mighty Switch Force!”, which is a 3DS download exclusive.  2D platformer with a Mega Man feel.  It has a mechanic where each stage has blocks that are either ‘on’ or ‘off’ (i.e. they are solid and can be stood on/block enemy fire, or they are ethereal), and you switch them back and forth as you navigate the stages.

    • GhaleonQ says:

      Man, I’m going down my list and a good 1/2 have been left in Japan.  I assume the only reason Slime Of Gusto/Rocket Slime isn’t localized is because they went through every slime pun there can be with the 2nd.

      Assuming that you don’t want imports or games better on other systems (PSP/PSV/PC/DS/NMI; I’d include Mutant Mudds, Cave Story, and Nippon Ichi games here), go with 3.

      Code Of Princess is better in some ways that the 2 Guardian Heroes games and worse in some ways, but it’s absolutely of a piece.  Treasure kept a lot of their brilliant staff through the years, but not all, and they made this game.  Agatsuma appears to be 1 of the good guys.  They just announced that they were publishing a 3rd Umihara Kawase game with the original staff.  http://gameological.com/2012/09/decadent-bionic-commando-and-umihara-kawase-shun

      Shinobi 3-D is legitimately good.  It’s truly Shinobi.  You should know what that means.

      The Mighty series is the best thing WayForward’s ever done, and you should get on Mighty Milky Way today.  They’re thoughtful action-platformers with aesthetics and design ideas that emulate but don’t replicate that era.

  2. DrFlimFlam says:

    This was a great week for game talk (and Little Nemo art). The Gameological Society has actually brought me back to some kind of gaming discussion after years away from it, where I mostly played games in a vacuum.

    • aklab says:

      Same here. This is just about the only site I comment on. It’s kind of astonishing how astute and, um, non-assholish everyone is here.  I occasionally read Kotaku but Dear Lord, the comments… *shudder* 

      • exant says:

        The only Kotaku comments I read are the ones from the  gimmick “Real Kotaku Comments” account. Anything unfiltered by that brave soul is asking for pain.

    • Chalkdust says:

      I’m new here (hi!) but I’ve been lurking on AV Club for a long time.  Glad to find a community of gamers whose heads appear to be largely on the level.  And come on!  This site has a regular feature about video game music.  That’s perfect for me.

    • Fixda Fernback says:

      Seriously. I didn’t even realize just how jaded with gaming culture I had become, until Gameological and it’s commentariat came around to show me the light. It’s so nice to have a little refuge from the vitriol and ignorance usually so prevalent surrounding our entertainment-medium-of-choice, but also pretty sad that there are so few places like this. That said, thanks everyone for being so awesome and non-internet-y!

  3. Effigy_Power says:

    “Effigy Power saw a connection to the evolution of toys, and a shift away from imagination toward theatrics, in the past 60-odd years.”

    If that is a crack about my age, I am murdering everyone.

  4. Merve says:

    Like @lokimotive:disqus, sometimes I think about the crazy, nearly magical technological advances that make our increasingly interconnected and digitized lives possible. I’m not that old, but I still remember being a child in the early nineties, when the Internet as we know it basically didn’t exist. Later, I remember getting dial-up and connecting to the Internet via Trumpet Winsock, complete with those irritating modem noises. Nowadays, I use the Internet every day without a second thought. I can’t imagine my life without it, but it wasn’t so long ago that it wasn’t even part of my life.

    On a completely different note, I have a question for discussion for you Gameological folks: What games in your Steam library aren’t in any of your friends’ Steam libraries? I ask this question because it might help us discover some unique, obscure titles that most of us haven’t had the chance to play.

    Mine are:
    Analogue: A Hate Story (An interesting piece of interactive fiction that I highly recommend)
    Half-Life Deathmatch: Source (I haven’t played it myself.)
    Worms Ultimate Mayhem (Don’t bother.)

    • Sadly, I am (Steam) friendless. So in one sense, all. And in another sense, none.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      My Steam friends are three in total, not counting the Steam group in its entirety, so my sample isn’t huge. But I’d count The Longest Journey and Sam & Max Season 3 as the most likely anomalies in my collection. Oh, graphical adventure games, you know just the random combination of objects to unlock my heart.

    • exant says:

      I have this one Steam friend who has a significant percent of the Steam catalog (somewhere around 500 games). The games I have and he doesn’t are very few:

      • Unstoppable Gorg (a creative tower defense game that’s pretty fun)
      • Xotic (trippy FPS that is hampered by its old graphics, but is still good)
      • Cities X.L. (goofy euro version of Sim City that has a shit UI that caused me to lose two cities by loading instead of saving)

      And two games I bought in a humble indie bundle and have yet to play so I have no idea if they’re good:
      • The Baconing
      • Q.U.B.E.

      • Merve says:

        Q.U.B.E. is quite good. The puzzles start off very simple but quickly increase in complexity. They’re rarely unfair, though, and things move along at a nice pace. I should warn you, though, that a few puzzle solutions near the end are easy to conceptualize but very difficult to execute, which can lead to frustration.

        • Aaron Riccio says:

          Yeah, I was surprised by how good Q.U.B.E. actually was, although it’s definitely guilty of what we were talking about in this week’s Q&A and which you bring up here: puzzles that you know how to solve and yet can’t quite make happen.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      I regularly marvel at the USB stick on my desk that has more storage capacity than my first six PC hard drives combined, and being able to watch a TV show or movie on any TV or computer screen in my house within minutes.

      • Merve says:

        Storage is a funny thing, isn’t it? I remember when my dad gave me a super-expensive 256 MB USB stick when I was a teenager and told me to guard it with my life. (It ended up in the wash at one point and surprisingly emerged unscathed.) Nowadays, you can find cheap 16 GB USB sticks at the checkout counter of a supermarket.

        To go back even further, I remember back in the late nineties when my dad brought home a laptop that had a whole 2 gigabytes of hard drive space. My young mind could barely grasp the concept of that much storage. I imagined that entire libraries and museums could fit onto that disk. Fast-forward to today, and it’s impossible to find a AAA video game that requires less than 2 GB of hard disk space.

        • duwease says:

          I remember when my dad brought home a PC with a whopping 10 MEG hard drive.  Do you know how many floppies that is?!?!

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         Hell, I remember when my brand, new shiny Commodore 128 seemed like a big deal!  Now, I’d be hard pressed to find a single program on my puny laptop that took up less than 128K.

        I think best memory upgrade is online-based memory, though.  As long as the service is reliable enough, I have no need to lug around discs or thumb drives, except for a backup copy in case the connection is sketchy.

        As amazing as things are nowadays, I can’t help thinking we are achingly close to an all-in-one “watch/listen/read anything instantly” device/service, but we keep getting held back by backwards, old-media attitudes.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          My biggest problem with the idea of Cloud Storage is hackers.  I don’t like not having a physical backup if someone decides to obliterate some company’s server.

    • duwease says:

      Just two:  

      – Unstoppable Gorg (a fun tower defense game with a twist that manages to avoid the parts of that genre that end up frustrating me into quitting)
      – Gateways (an indie puzzle platformer, heavy on the puzzles.. by the end you’re changing sizes, rotating the screen, time travelling and using a portal gun all at the same time to get the devious things done.. great fun, cheap, short)

      • Aaron Riccio says:

        Having just played Adventures of Shuggy, I have to go back and play Gateways, because I loved all the puzzle variations (and sweet-spot difficulty curve) that went into that cute lil’ platformer.

    • caspiancomic says:

       I’ve actually really been meaning to try Analogue, I’ll probably try that out at some point this year. I hear a lot of good things.

      As for myself, my Steam list is humiliatingly small, and mostly consists of stuff from Humble Bundles or gifts from fellow Gameologists. So basically, I have absolutely no games unique to myself. I never imagined for a second that I had more indie cred than any of you lot anyway.

    • Chalkdust says:

      Analogue has some lovely music.  I only got a bit of the way in before getting distracted, though… gotta revisit.

      Analogue: A Hate Story – Hyun-ae (Innocence)

    • EmperorNortonI says:

       What an interesting question.  Going through my library, in Alphabetical Order, allowing 1 other Friend to have the game.

      Birth of America – this is a really good light wargame about the Revolutionary War.  Its successors are dramatically better, by all accounts, but also not available on Steam.  Grr.

      Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble – this is a fun story game in the guise of an old-school boardgame.  Various difficulties are resolved through stat-matching and minigames.  It was a lot of fun, and surprisingly dark towards the end.  Note – 20’s flapper inspired, not Anime inspired.

      Fate of the World – solve World Poverty and Global Warming in this wonky strategy game.  Hard, but rather interesting.

      Flotilla – Part turn-based exploration game, part real-time spaceship combat in 3D.  The 3D game was fun, but the exploration part was TOO short and random for digging into the 3D game to be worthwhile.

      King Arthur – The RPG Wargame.  This game rocks.  Play it.

      Men of War – Detailed . . . perhaps over-detailed WW2 game.  It can’t decide whether it wants to be Company of Heroes + or Commandos +, but it can be a fair bit of fun.

      Red Orchestra 2.  Play it.

      The Settlers 7 – European city builder game, along the lines of Tropico or Children of the Nile.  It’s definitely got a tighter feel than those other games, though slogging through the tutorial campaign was starting to grate on me.  I never played it, but this game has a really tight, vicious multi-player mode.

      Super Laser Racer – This is the most fun I’ve had with a racing game in forever.  I absolutely love it.

      Waking Mars – worth all the hype.  Lots of fun.

    • Aaron Riccio says:

      I just wanted to mention a bunch of games. The ones with stars first are the ones that only one or none of my friends play.

      *A Virus Named Tom (really clever, fiendishly difficult arcade tile-flipper)
      Antichamber (everything you know is wrong)
      Blocks That Matter (platforming with a block-editing twist)
      Sequence (hilarious rhythm RPG)
      *Saira (honestly don’t know how to describe it; beautiful?)
      *Splice (great aesthetic, simple gameplay, bonus difficulty)
      *They Bleed Pixels (Lovecraftian action platformer!)
      *Waveform

      It’s almost as if all of these games have something in common…

    • valondar says:

       Analogue: A Hate Story is fantastic and I’ve highly recommended it to little interest.

      Hmm. Some of these may be in friends libraries, since I know some of them bought them but didn’t play them, but I’ll stick to games that steam tells me they’ve played.

      Also I’ve kept this to games I have currently installed, because otherwise this is list is stupid long.

      Botanicula (Haven’t played it yet, but since it’s from Amanita Games, the geniuses behind Machinarium, it is probably brilliant).
      Closure (already one of my favourite puzzle platformers as I keep mentioning in these comment threads).
      Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (it looked interesting? Haven’t played much of it.)
      Galactic Civilizations I: Ultimate Edition (strategy game, same deal as above).
      Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (an incredibly addictive and challenging and fiddly platformer that is frustrating but fun).
      The Longest Journey (I have two of these?)
      Machinarium (a beautiful adventure game, highly recommended).
      Resonance (adventure game, haven’t played).
      Samorost 2 (haven’t played, my third Amanita Game – it was a bundle okay).
      Syberia + Syberia 2 (…why do I have so many unplayed adventured games?)
      X-Tension, X2: The Threat, X: Beyond the Frontier (I picked up all the space sim X games when on sale, these are X games nobody else owns. Challenging confusing stuff I need to pay more attention to.).

      I guess the lesson here is I have terrible judgement and I buy more games than I can play.

    • logicalDemoness says:

       I don’t have any games none of my friends have but I do have three games only one of my friends has.
      English Country Tune: Abstract puzzle game, haven’t played it yet.
      Q.U.B.E.: Spatial puzzle game in the vein of Portal, the main mechanic is manipulating various coloured blocks, each colour has a different property. I liked it a lot, the puzzles were creative and it keeps building new ideas on its mechanic to the very end.
      Thomas Was Alone: Pretty standard, easy 2D platformer with some puzzly sections. The real draw is the charming story told in voiceover, for which I recommend a playthrough. This game made me feel for its protagonists, who are literally rectangles.

    • George_Liquor says:

      I never really thought about it until now, but every electronic device in my living room has an internet connection except the turntable!

      The opening skit of MST3000’s The Starfighters has an amazingly accurate rant on how frustrating Internet access was in the mid 90s.

  5. beema says:

    Where for art thou comment cat?

  6. Cloks says:

    In more important news, John Teti wrote a comment saying that he thought a joke I made was funny. I didn’t have the heart or knowledge of DISQUS to tell him that I was shameless ripping off classic-era Simpsons – the true font of all humor.

  7. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    Oh hey I got featured again! Woo, this is the best part of Gameological YEAAAHHH!

    Also, did everyone watch the Tropes vs Women in Games thing? Pretty neat!

    • Cloks says:

      I’m interested to see where she goes it. She pointed out a lot of examples and why it’s a harmful idea but didn’t really come to any conclusions yet. It’s much better than I expected it would be though.

    • caspiancomic says:

       Oh yeah, I meant to bring that up at some point! Many of the reactions I’ve seen to it were actually surprisingly civilized, as well, so that was a nice surprise. I mean, they were almost uniformly negative, but most people I saw attempted to disagree with her on the strength of her ideas as presented, rather than just bellowing gendered insults at the top of their internet voices. It would have been nice to have seen even one person say “hey, maybe she’s got a point”, but I’ll take my victories where I can get them.

    • Girard says:

      Responding well after anyone is in this thread, but I just watched the video and want to talk about it somewhere!

      I really, really liked how the video turned out. I am pumped to see the rest and already thinking of ways to use these videos in the game classes I teach (which are largely populated by adolescent boys who I would like to see grow up into something beyond adolescent boyhood, especially if they go on to make games…)

      I enjoyed her prior videos, but found their brevity and glibness meant that they probably only went over well when preaching to the choir (i.e. me). This longer format is fantastic, and I love the way she lays out her arguments really clearly, and explains fundamental (and really important) things like subject-object relations, and how it’s okay to think critically about things you like, in a clear, concise way.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        I’m really bummed to see people still being little shits about this thing. Like, people are mad that comments are disabled on the youtube because censorship? Fucking ridiculous.

        Also, pretty much every response to it that i’ve seen so far has been criticism. Even from people who generally agree that videogames can be sexist. It’s really frustrating to me that people can’t just say “oh, this is cool.” about it. No one criticizes every single aspect of any other youtube video, how come this one is getting such harsh treatment? 

        Basically what I’m trying to say is; Haters, get fucked.

  8. I’d like to thank @Effigy_Power:disqus and @Kilzor:disqus for setting up my most-liked comment to date!

  9. stakkalee says:

    Happy Friday everyone!  Our most-commented article this week was the Q&A with 365 comments, but all of our Top 5 most-liked comments came from the second place thread, John’s Tomb Raider review.  And those comments are:
    1) @Kilzor:disqus gets 41 likes for thinking of the planet.
    2) With 33 likes, Unexpected Dave (@twitter-493417375:disqus) makes a valid counterargument.
    3) @Effigy_Power:disqus gets 30 likes with a point about realism.
    4) With 20 likes @Captain_Internet:disqus has a 21st Century BC idea.
    4) And tied for fourth, @Merve2:disqus discusses artistic freedom.
    And now for Soupy’s Chosen.  We have some new faces and some familiar getting their plaid jackets today – let’s give a big virtual hand for @Logoboros:disqus, @WorldCivilizations:disqus, @BillyNerdass:disqus and Ted Kindig (@twitter-22325289:disqus.)  Welcome aboard folks!  Glad to have you!
    And our returning members.  With his second mention, @Duwease:disqus gets his first stud!  @Douchetoevsky:disqus gets a second stud, as does @Jackbert:disqus.  @Citric:disqus and @George_Liquor:disqus are each getting their sixth stud, but @Lokimotive:disqus does it in style, getting a fifth AND a sixth stud with the rare double mention!  And of course our resident curmudgeon @Effigy_Power:disqus gets a 20th stud and continues to loom menacingly one stud behind @Paraclete_Pizza:disqus!
    So no linkdump, but let’s all pour one out for our homie @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus, still  Nathan Drake-ing it up out there in the desert somewhere.  Enjoy your gaming, and remember to keep it scintillating!

  10. Eco1970 says:

    Is this column (correct nomenclature?) meant to be some sort of scoreboard for a metagame played on the Gameological comments sections? We’ve got the actual ‘you’re famous now!’ Comment quotes enshrined in the article, but now I see there’s a record of ‘most likes’.

    I just had one beer and I’m very Mickey so maybe thinking too much.